A comic novel of crime

2003 by Steven Schlossstein
425 pages, Stratford Books
ISBN 0-962-7060-3-5

It's what happens when the KGB whacks a Wiseguy.

When $1 billion mysteriously disappears from the Manhattan Trust Bank's computer system one cold and snowy February night, their senior management reacts predictably. The bank's primary concern is the impact on its earnings and its stock price.

But Dmitri Vokharova, the Russian crime lord who runs New York's most ruthless gang of high-tech criminals in Brighton Beach, could care less. The Russians launder the money electronically through their network of overseas accounts without a trace.

Or so they think. Dmitri makes one small mistake: in a fit of rage, he murders Little Tony DeLuca, the presumptive crime boss of Brooklyn. And that sets off his father, Antonio (Big Tony) DeLuca, a street-smart Wiseguy who's already suffering from so much workplace stress that his Zen doctor has to put him on a custom high-fiber diet.

So when ex-Boston detective and forensic investigator Peter Dawkins is brought in to work the case, what looked like financial fraud turns into a life-threatening jaunt through the dark and seamy underworld of domestic politics, immigration rackets, dot-com scams, police corruption, FBI counter-terrorism, and a dangerous cell of meddlesome Muslims in Queens, leading straight to the Middle East crisis.

All of which culminates in a high-speed, three-way chase through the streets of midtown Manhattan to a deadly shootout at Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn. Can Dawkins stop the Italians from avenging a murder and unravel the threads that weave through the Russians back to the stolen money?

Welcome to New York City.